Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change

Grandpa

My Grandpa, Peter Beaumont, has died. I will be cutting up my old plans and trying to get home as quickly as possible. I won’t be in Port Moresby before tomorrow – there’s only one plane out of Buka every day and I’ve just seen it leave, but hopefully I can find a seat on the next one.

I went to see Grandpa the day before I left England. He has not been well for a long time, and was only a fragment of the man I remember. But he remained both optimistic and defiant long after the point where I wonder if I would have given up. This was the man who used to make wooden swords for my brothers and I to charge round the garden of his home, when we were boys. I was the oldest, and got the longest sword.

I don’t know if I will make the funeral. In a sense, it doesn’t matter. I want to see my mum, and my nanny. I will be there as soon as I can.

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